The Victorian Government has announced a new overhauled contract has been signed with SkyBus, designed to overhaul airport bus services to improve services and increase customer focus.

The consolidated contract will deliver new services under a performance based contract.

More than 3.8 million trips are taken on SkyBus services each year, with the services supporting around 330 local jobs. The new contract provides more flexibility and expands services where they are needed most, Melbourne’s growing outer suburbs.

The Western Express will commence as a new 60-minute frequency service operating 7 days per week, while additional service and reliability improvements to the revamped Peninsula Express service will include simplified fares, a new ‘turn-up-and-go’ service, additional Rosebud and Mornington services and new stops at Mordialloc and Mentone.

SkyBus will deliver fare price savings for Peninsula passengers with the introduction of a cheaper standard family fare, including free travel for kids. The newly consolidated contract also allows the government the ability to introduce an airport rail line between the Melbourne CBD and Tullamarine Airport.

SkyBus, with its dedicated Melbourne Airport to City express airport bus service, has operated for 40 years. The AATS Group operate SkyBus services, with an annual passenger growth averaging six per cent per year.

Beginning on 1 July 2018, SkyBus will introduce a new Werribee-to-Melbourne Airport service (via Tarneit), that will provide passengers in the western suburbs of Melbourne with a direct link to the airport.

The new contracts commence on 1 July 2018 and will run for ten years if the operator meets strict performance targets. Contract negotiations with other bus operators are progressing as planned and are expected to be finalised before the end of June 2018.

The Victorian Budget 2018/19 included $50 million to kick start work for a fast rail link from Geelong to Melbourne, as well as creating a rail pathway to Melbourne Airport.

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